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475 [475]

vnto, he made his first Sermon vnto the people, the Sondaye before saynt Martines daye. When the people hard hym preache the word of God so syncerely they desyred hym agayne the seconde tyme, in so muche that the whole paryshe requyred hym to tary amonges them to preache the Gospell, whiche thyng, for fear of daunger for a tyme he refused, when the religious rooute hadde vnderstandyng hereof, specially the Canons, Monkes and priestes, went aboute with all their endeuoure to opresse hym and thruste hym oute of the cytye with the Gospell of Christe (for that is the maner of this kynde of men) whereupon they go vnto the Senate, desyring that suche an hereticke myght be banyshed the towne, whiche through his doctrine preached against the Catholyke churche. Vpon the complainte of the Canons, the Senate sent for the wardēs, and the head men of the paryshe where Henry had preached, who beynge come together, the Senate declared vnto them the complaint of the Canons and all the other religious men. Whereunto they aunswered, that they knew none other but that they hadde hyred a learned and honest mann to preache vnto them, whiche shoulde teache them syncerelye and truely the woorde of God. Notwithstanding if the chapterhouse or anye other manne, can brynge testimoniall or wytnes, that the preacher hath taught any thyng, whiche eyther sauoureth of heresie, or is repugnāt to the word of God, they are ready together with the chapterhouse to persecute hym, for God forbydde that they should meyntayne an heretycke, but if contrariwyse the Canons of the chapter house and the other religious men wyll not declare and showe that the preacher, which we haue hyred, hath taught any errour or heresie, but are onely determined of malice, by violence to dryue hym awaye, we maye by no meanes suffer that. Whereupon they desyred the Senate with all humble obedience, that they would not requyre it of them, but graunt them equitie and iustice. And that they were mynded to assiste their preacher alwayes to pleade his cause.

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This aunswere the Senate commaunded to be declared to the chapterhouse. When as the religious sorte vnderstoode that they proffited lyttle or nothyng by their woordes, burstyng out in a fury, they began to threaten. And therewithall went strayght vnto the byshoppe to certifie hym, howe the cytezens of Breame were become heretykes, and woulde no lōger obey the religious sorte, with many other lyke thynges in their complaynt, that it was to be feared, least the whole cytie, shortly should be seduced.

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When the Byshoppe harde tell of thesethynges, straightwayes he sent twoo whiche were of his councell vnto Breame, requyring that Henry should be sent vnto hym without delaye. When they were demaūded why they woulde haue hym sent, they aunswered because he preached agaynst the holye churche. Being againe demaunded, in what poynts or articles. They hadd nothinge to saye. One of these councellors, was the Bishopes Suffrigan, a naughty pernitious Ipocrite, which sought all meanes possible to cary away the same good Henry captiue. Finally they receaued this aunswer of the Senators, that for so much as the preacher being hired by þe church wardens, had not hitherto bene conuicte for an heretycke, and that no man had declared any erronious or hereticall article that he had taught, they said, they could by no means obteyne of the Cityzens, that he should be caried awaye, wherfore they ernestly desyred the Bishop that he would spedely send his lerned men vnto Breame to dispute with him, and that, if he were conuinced, they promised with out any delay that he shuld be iustly punyshed and sent away. If not, they would in no wise let him depart, wherunto the Suffrigan aunswered with a great protestation, requiringe that he should be deliuered into his handes, for the quietnes of the whole country, taking god to his witnes, that in this behalfe, he sought for nothing els but only the commodity of his country. But for all this, they could preuaile nothing, for the Senat continued still in ther formar minde. wherupon the Suffrigan being moued with anger, departed from Breame, and would not confirme their childrē. When he came vnto the bishope, he declared the aunswere of the Senat, and what he had hard and learned of the priests and mōkes there. Afterward when daily newes came, that the preacher did still more and more preach and teach more heynous matter against the religious rooute, they attempte a nother waye suborning great men to admonish the cityzens of Breame into what ieoperdy their common wealth might fal, by meanes of ther preacher, preaching contrary to the decree of the Pope and Emperoure, besides that, they saide, that he was the prysoner of the Lady margeret, for which cause they had gotten letters of the Lady Margret, requiring to haue her prisoner sent vnto her agayne.

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All these craftes and subtilties did nothing at all preuaile, for the Senate of Breame aunswered all things without blame. When as the Bishop saw this his enterpryse also frustrate, he attempted another, way, wherby he had certayne hope, that he together with the word of god should be wholy oppressed. Wherupon they decreed a prouinciall counsaile, not

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to be-
Qq.ii.
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